Book Sale

Thursday 30 November 2023

You Can’t Avoid The Culture Wars


You cannot avoid the culture wars. 

This is from something I am writing,

"Firstly, we need to recognize that we can’t avoid the culture wars. We might want to live quiet and peaceful lives, but the devil doesn’t always give us a choice in the matter. Just because we are told that we should aspire to a quiet life does not mean we are promised one. Eventually the culture will confront you in some way and seek to bring you under its sway. Even if you were to go and build a commune somewhere you would take the world with you in some way and the world will eventually encroach on your way of life from the outside anyway. Better that we engage now, reason now, and teach, advocate, lobby, peacefully now, rather than be attacked unaware.

One of the most important implications of Genesis 3 is that you can't hide from evil in the world. The Lord God could literally place you in the most perfect garden on this earth, surround you with perfection, shelter you from the outside world, give you the freedom to live in that shelter, and the devil will find a way in to seek and destroy you and bring you under his sway. There is no such place on this earth where the devil does not have the ability to sink his fangs in."

This is vital for us to remember as Christians. It is good and necessary and important for us to seek to make the place where we situate our families, raise our children, worship with fellow believers and seek to live out our lives, as healthy and good as we possibly can. But we must not lower our guard to the ability for the evil one to creep in and do damage. The culture war is not a one and done kind of thing. It is an ongoing battle that humanity is required to continue to fight until Christ himself returns and finally deals with evil once and for all.

I was speaking to someone recently, and he observed how Australia was so post-Christian that it was now in some places almost pre-Christian. That is there are so many people with no knowledge of God and his word at all. No understanding even of basic things like what the 10 commandments are, for instance. This is very much the case. A country once filled with Christianity has become spiritually very dead. The same thing happened in Israel when generations were raised that had forgotten the law of God. In Josiah’s day the leaders of Judah were shocked when they found the law in the temple and realized how much of God’s word they had abandoned and why they were facing the trials they did.

The point is the culture wars are never ending in this world. We must continually be on our guard against the creeping evils of apathy and rebellion, and we must recognize that only as long as we pass on the word of God that we have been taught, will it continue on down the line in our families. We cannot assume, we cannot rest on our laurels and we cannot avoid the culture wars. The devil’s culture is ever against the culture of the kingdom of God. Don’t forget this.

Tuesday 28 November 2023

A Foundational Policy


Debt forgiveness should be a foundational policy of any right wing or right leaning party. For the simple reason that one of the pillars of the right is the preservation and propagation of the family, and on top of this the preservation of wealth in the family. These are core principles of the right: God, king, and nation (the nation being an extension of family). Policies which preserve the place of all three in society should be favoured by those on the political right.  

Nothing threatens both the family and preservation of wealth in the family in the West today like the greed of the money lenders. The threat of facing debt holds people back from marriage and causes many women to delay childbirth. The experience of debt drives families into dual income living with zero to few kids. The crushing weight of debt breaks many families apart, in part because they tend to take out their debt problems on each other, and partially because of the hypergamous nature of women, as shortsighted as this can often be.

The cost of not forgiving debt will be far greater for society than the cost of forgiving debt through government decree. Because when the family is encumbered by so many burderns, it cannot fulfil its required function for society, that of raising the next generation of the nation up in the values of that nation. Already Australia can't sustain itself via births, proving my point. This is not a justification for our high immigration policies, in fact immigration exacerbates the problem because government’s feel even less incentive to serve the families of the nation when they can simply replace them with ready made adult tax payers. So a refusal of the right to address this issue will just lead to even worse outcomes for our nation.   

Debt forgiveness, however through whatever mechanism that politicians have at their disposal, at least once in a generation, should be a pillar of the politics of the right. Because it serves the purpose of preserving the family unit, which is the basic building block of the nation.

Monday 27 November 2023

Christ is King


Christ is king. The King of kings, the Messiah. He is the root and the branch of David, “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star” (Rev. 22:16). He is the bright morning star, that is he is the highest of divine royalty. As John tells us earlier in Revelation,

“11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”

This is a truth that all should be told and all should proclaim, because Jesus is the only rightful ruler of this world, the King of kings.

Even if some proclaim Christ is King for the wrong reasons and wrong motivations, it's never wrong to proclaim the truth,

"12 I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. 14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. 16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice” (Philippians 1:12-18)

There have always been those who have wanted to preach Christ from perverted motives. But such is the power of God that even donkeys can be used from time to time to preach the truth.

Of course, it is always better for the one making the proclamation to do it from sincere motives. Because every time you proclaim Christ is King, you reinforce the truth that he is the just judge who will return to earth to judge all, including yourself. So make sure you don’t just proclaim it. Make sure you give your allegiance to him and trust in him for your salvation. Because only in confessing him as Lord can you be saved.

This statement, Christ is King, has always been offensive to the sinful mind, but especially to those who deny he is the Messiah,

“63 But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” 67 Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, 68 saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?” (Matt. 26:63-68).

But one day all flesh will proclaim this truth,

“8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:8-11).

It is to everyone’s eternal benefit to proclaim Jesus as Lord now, before he comes. Because when he is revealed in his full glory, there will be no opportunity for repentance left.

Saturday 25 November 2023

Individualism is the Society Killer

Individualism, an important tenet of modern conservatism and a strongly held belief among those on what is called the centre-right. And it happens to be one of the greatest evils our nation faces. 

Individualism is the death of society, the death of culture, and the death of the individual. And it is a foundational cause for so much of the loneliness epidemic our weatern societies today face. Loneliness has long been understood to be a major cause of death all on its own, because of its association with depression, destructive choices and behaviours, and just because of the result the crushing weight of loneliness has on the human soul.

Individualism has bred this loneliness culture in the modern West. The only truth we ever needed to hear to know how wicked individualism is, was that it is not good for man to be alone. That's all we needed to know to reject it. Yet our society and our churches embraced it as a pillar of the modern West. Individualism is a dead-end, in many ways literally.

Individualism is the society killer. It is seed of death that sprouts into many other forms of death for a people. It must be rejected. We must overcome this scourge. 

God created us to live in families, to function in churches (believing communities), he did not create us to handle loneliness. 

Friday 24 November 2023

Immigration Makes Us All Poorer

Saying immigration makes us all poorer sounds counterintuitive to many Australians for several reasons. For one many Australians are immigrants or the children of immigrants and we have one of the highest standards of living in the world. Australia’s resources and inbuilt wealth were unlocked both by British Colonialism and the ensuing British immigration to Australia in its early years and this combination turned Australia from a primitive tribal based land into one of the world’s leading per-capita economies. But even more so this is the case because Australians are constantly told that immigration will improve our nation and that we are racist to think other otherwise. This is consistent in the media and politics in Australia, any opposition to immigration is framed as racism and a simple “backward hick” resistance to change.

But this is wrong. Firstly comparing colonization to immigration is a mistake. There is a very big difference between settling in a primitive country and developing it, compared to immigrating to a fully developed society with an advanced culture. The kind of people that do the former are rarely the same as those that do the latter, and the kind of things they are looking for in the new society are very different.

Plus immigration is actually making us poorer and the data proves it. I will get to that in a moment, but this is not hard to conceptualize theoretically. Immigration suppresses wages by increasing competition for jobs and by importing people from poorer countries with lower expectations of what they could or should be earning. This is why the business sector and the centre right political parties strongly lobby for high immigration, they love suppressing the cost of labour, whether skilled or unskilled. Immigration then has the flow on effect of increasing asset prices, especially for homes, which locks Australians into a double negative effect, because our income potential is suppressed by the very thing which is driving up the cost of buying or renting a home. We have less and need to pay more for things that our parents had more and paid far less for. Then there is the effect immigration has on infrastructure which cannot keep up with Australia’s high rate of immigration, and therefore higher taxes are needed for more infrastructure that will be behind the eight-ball even before it is finished, because so many people are moving here. This has quality of life impacts, because people already have to live far away from the major centres of work because of the cost of housing, but now they have to deal with getting to work on roads that cannot handle the traffic using them. We are therefore becoming objectively poorer in multiple ways.

Then there is the decline in productivity caused by importing people from vastly different cultures. The resources which are required to teach new immigrants English, to retrain them according to the Australian standards for their industry, and then deal with all of the cultural issues in the workplace that stem from having a multicultural workforce create a massive productivity drain on companies and individuals. How can they not? Compare classroom school grades between schools with a high proportion of multicultural immigrants to relatively monoculture classrooms and you will see the same issues. Teachers must spend extra time working with kids whose languages and cultures are highly diverse, it’s just a reality. The only impact this can have on productivity is driving it down, because so many resources which were once poured into making things, completing projects and doing the work are now directed towards just getting the workforce into the right shape to do the work. From multiple angles it is very easy to deduce the negative impacts of immigration on the workforce and therefore on the economy. And we have not covered all of them in this thought experiment, only some of the most prominent.

Therefore, we should not be surprised that the data bears this out, as Macrobusiness explains,

“Australia’s economic performance in the decade before the pandemic was, on many measures, the worst in 60 years”, notes Minack.

“Per capita GDP growth was low, productivity growth tepid, real wages were stagnant, and housing increasingly unaffordable. There were many reasons for the mess, but the most important was a giant capital-to-labour switch: Australia relied on increasing labour supply, rather than increasing investment, to drive growth”.

“Australia’s population-led growth model was a demonstrable failure in the 15 years prior to the pandemic. Remarkably, the country now seems to be doubling down on the same strategy. The result, unsurprisingly, is likely to be more of the same”, warns Minack.

Minack’s assessment mirrors many of the same arguments that I have made about Australia’s mass immigration policy over the past decade (most recently this month).

This policy is a key reason why Australia recorded the world’s worst decline in real per capita household disposable income last financial year, according to an analysis of OECD data by The AFR’s Michael Read:…”[1]

I recommend reading the whole article and examining the charts they share as well. Australia is leading the developed world in losing its standard of living. The key to a successful economy is not how many workers you have, but how much your workers can make and how much what they make is worth and how this in turn creates a growing cycle of investment in new businesses and wealth. Basing an economic model on just increasing the work force is counterproductive, more workers does not mean more work will get done. The quality and focus of your workforce is far more important.

If you think of the economy like a pie with a moderate rate of growth (that is the pie is consistently getting larger by let’s say 1-3%) then what has been happening in Australia is that we have been growing the amount of slices in the pie at a far faster rate than the rate that the pie itself has been growing. And what is worse is that the growth of the pie is mostly dependent on increasing those slices anyway. So, you have a situation where the means of growth is actually making the average Australian poorer, because their share of the pie is decreasing, but the government is looking at all the extra slices and saying, “See! The pie is growing under our watch.” In other words, in real terms, as far as the average Australian is concerned we have been declining economically, but the overall size of the pie is larger, slightly, every year, so the politicians claim they are successfully growing the economy.

It is a Ponzi scheme. The person at the top of the pyramid keeps getting richer as long as new levels are being added to the bottom. Yes, I know I just changed metaphors but this one is just as apt. Because our economic system is based on the very same kind of Ponzi scheme as a pyramid scheme: just keep adding people and the people higher up will make the money. That's Australia's economic strategy. It's ridiculous. 

The way that the Australian government has managed the economy in the last several decades is by growing the economy through the very means that is making most Australians poorer and causing people to increasingly start to tread water. It’s like living on a junk food diet, you will grow, and be fed, but not in healthy or helpful ways and really you are setting yourself up for the risks of various different cancers rather than true and genuine health. This is all bound to collapse, when I cannot say, but eventually this is going to break. Probably when the bi-furcation of the world economy is complete, then Australia will become less attractive to immigrants who side with the BRICS[2] nations, but even then, it is possible our nation will eventually change sides to Asia[3]. We will have to wait and see.

Australians are getting poorer because of the very thing that the leaders of this country believe is necessary to keep the economy growing, because they obviously don’t have the will power or the knowledge to encourage economic growth in any other way. I also think there are more nefarious reasons because our governments always seem to jump onboard the various globalist agendas of the world elites. There is also the fact that immigrants by nature want to transform their new country to be like their old country, by bringing more of their kinsmen in and transforming the laws of the new nation to better reflect their values, culture and traditions. Many Australian residents are foreigners and there is therefore a natural inclination on their behalf to want to reshape their new home. As I often point out British settlers did not become indigenous Australians, they made Australia like Britain but with nice beaches and a tan.

Either way, no one can deny the negative impacts of immigration on our way of life and be honest about it. People who would have disagreed with me once before, are now seeing the daily effects of this when they seek to get a new rental or buy a home. This problem has a simple solution, immigration needs to be paused as soon as possible. Until that happens the trajectory is clear, we are heading towards serfdom under a shrinking pool of national and foreign elites…which might actually be their goal. For how many decades does the government have to do obviously damaging policies before it becomes clear that they are doing precisely what they intend to do?

List of References

[2] The countries allied economically with Brazil, China, Russia, India, South Africa and others.

[3] Economically there is no reason why we should not be friendly with our largest trading partner. Of course geo-politically Australia is being pulled by other forces.

Thursday 23 November 2023

Conspiracy Theory

“To be normal in the real world and drink Coca-Cola and eat Kentucky Fried Chicken is to be in a conspiracy against yourself.”

Mel Gibson, Conspiracy Theory, the movie. 

Gibson truly is a treasure, and he really was seeking to open peoples eyes long before many others. I just watched this movie for the first time since I was a kid and it is brilliant. The amount of times you think: wow, when his character says something is many. 

A true treasure. No wonder he needed to be diminished by the powers that be.

Tuesday 21 November 2023

Equality is a False god.


Equality is a false god. Indeed, because we know that equality is a myth, a phantom, a lie, a false religious and ideological standard, we should not be surprised that there is no such thing as equal treatment on the mainstream social media and streaming platforms like YouTube, Facebook, X, or any of the others. These are companies and organizations that are backed by elite money and are created to serve elite purposes.

So, in light of this, and to work towards being anti-fragile I am moving my video channel over to Rumble. The first message I am sharing is one I preached a few years ago on the foolishness of Egalitarianism titled: Equality is a False God. Here is the introduction:

Have you ever heard of the concept of the sacred cow or sacred bull? No, that’s not referring to lies being told by a priest. Though I guess you could apply it that way. A sacred cow or golden calf is a subject or thing which should not be touched, or talked about or criticized: because it is considered a sacred object.

Slaying sacred cows has a great and honourable tradition in the Bible and in Christianity. You may even remember the famous example of Moses literally breaking down a literal golden calf in the book of Exodus. “He took the calf that they had made and burned it with fire and ground it to powder and scattered it on the water and made the people of Israel drink it” (Exodus 32:20). He took that sacred calf down, literally turning a valuable gold stature into excrement.

I bring this up this morning, because I want to slay a sacred cow. Not necessarily a Christian one, though many Christians claim it, but a sacred cow that has influenced our modern culture for at least a couple of centuries now, and is feeding into every aspect of our lives: the sacred cow I want to slay this morning is the false god of equality.

Some people might think that it is an overstatement to call equality a false god. But what does a deity do? A deity seeks to bring everything under its own power and influence. It forces everything to conform to its way of thinking and subsumes everything to its culture. A deity says: thou shalt do this, think this or do that. It wants all to come under its authority. There is only one true God, but there are many imposters and equality is one of those imposters: and though it is a concept, an idea, it acts like a god and has been working and feeding through every part of our society to make everything else bow to it, including God’s word.

Because this god of equality is seeking to overtake our culture, most of us read the Bible through the lens of equality, most of us just assume equality as a baseline truth, and most of us think that life should be about making things as equal as possible. But this way of thinking has gone crazy, and it was always going to, because it was based on a lie. And I want to demonstrate this today. This might be a hard message for some of us to hear, but it is important, because this lie has gone too far, and we need to push back against it, hard, otherwise our culture is in big trouble.

So, this morning we are going to look at the topic of equality from the perspective of Genesis 49 and see what it has to say to us.

This is one of several messages I have done on this topic over the years. What is remarkable is how much the Bible rejects the concept of human equality and how thoroughly it slays any foundation for holding onto the concept. It is only because this god is one of the chief gods of our post-enlightenment age that many people are loath to let go of it, even if they do not realize this is the case.

You can watch the full sermon here, and it would be great if you joined the channel to follow future messages. I will be sharing a mix of older messages and newer messages over this week. Bless you.


Monday 20 November 2023

The Importance of Family


Matthew Sermon 2 – 

You can watch the video of this message here.


Two weeks ago we began a series on the gospel of Matthew, and we began by looking at the genealogies. At first glance there is not much that is interesting in a list of names, but as we saw a couple of weeks ago there was some incredible information in Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus. We saw it is an incredible work of Jewish art, we saw that Jesus was part of a long line of younger, overlooked brothers, we saw that some incredible but also scandalous women were counted in his genealogy and we observed from this how even Jesus’ genealogy shows how that the most irreputable sinner can be redeemed in Christ, and have their life turned to good.

Today I want to talk about the fifth woman mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus and easily the most important, his mother, Mary and also her husband Joseph “16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.” Everyone knows about the mother of Jesus from Christmas celebrations, even many non-Christians.  

I think one of the great things about Christmas is that the story of Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus is so well known by so many. As my daughter says Mary is her favourite Bible character and it is because she is a mum and because it is related to Christmas. It is a fantastic achievement that Christmas, that is Christ’s Mass, has sunk into the general culture of society. It is a travesty to consider how it is being repaganized today and often with the help of many Christians. But still, most westerners, and more beyond, are familiar with Mary and Joseph because of Jesus.

One of the downsides of this though is that this account has been shelved into the “Christmas stories box.” So that it is generally only taught on at Christmas time, and only in a limited way. But this account is far more than just a Christmas message, indeed, Christmas is about far more than Christmas. This account has so much to teach us about our God and how he wants to work in this world through his people. And just as vitally it has a lot to say about the importance of family.

I ended my last sermon on Matthew 1 by talking briefly about the importance of family. Because it would be an incredible missed opportunity to look at a genealogy and not talk about family. I said, “Never forget that our Lord Jesus Christ, according to the flesh, is descended from a long line of people who emphasized family. The devil is against family. Christians should never be.” The genealogies of the Bible show us just how important family is in the plans of God.

But at many points in history Christians have had what we would now consider some strange views about marriage, some that you could even potentially argue from Scripture. Like Paul who says this, “28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that.” (1 Cor. 7:28). What are the troubles Paul is seeking to protect them from? The troubles that occur in marriage. Paul appears to be treating marriage more like an allowance rather than a real blessing. After all, you can get married, but you will suffer and he wants to spare you from that.  

I have even had people say to me over the years that God wants us to go out into the world and make disciples, not go into the home and make kids. Even though the first command in Scripture is “be fruitful and multiply.” I also wonder if the people who think this way ever stopped to consider that having kids is the most simple and successful way of making disciples? The strength of the Church begins in the home.

Marriage and family are so vital to the human experience, it should not surprise us that God decided to make it an integral part of the salvation plan of God. So today we are going to look at the birth of Jesus, and the importance of family, and see what we can learn from this passage. We will start with Joseph.  

A Just Man (vv.18-20) – The Apostle begins here by telling us about the character of Joseph the husband of Mary,

“18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things,”

A lot of people consider the Bible to be a book of fairytales. But if you read the way that people are described, the way they act, their hopes and dreams, their pain and joy, and the way they respond to stress, or boredom, or wealth, or poverty, or other situations, they all read as so realistic. C.S. Lewis even noted that it was the gospel writers who invented the modern narrative style, not any pagan writers. Because they read as so realistic and so relatable.

Joseph’s reaction to finding out that his newly betrothed wife is pregnant is thoroughly realistic, and indicative of a noble man. Let’s first establish the order of events and then we will discuss his response.

First Mary and Joseph are betrothed. Marriages in ancient Israel had a couple of stages, first the betrothal happened, and then a little later the wedding happened. Betrothal was not the same as modern engagement. From the moment the betrothal happened the man and woman were considered husband and wife. As this passage later notes, “And her husband Joseph…”

The betrothal began with the agreement of financial obligations, the trading of property and the transfer of legal obligations to the man and woman from the parents. This meant that even though they had not yet consummated the marriage, they were already legally bound and considered married, and therefore the same obligations that were placed on husbands and wives were placed on the betrothed. There was no legal difference for the Jews.  

Then the Angel Comes to Mary. Not long after Mary and Joseph are betrothed the angel Gabriel comes to Mary, as Luke tells us, and she is told this, Luke 1:26-27, 30-33,

“26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary…30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

This is a big few months for this young Jewish woman. First, she gets betrothed, then she is told she will be the mother of the Son of God most high, a divine child. Yes, that means Mary knew.   

Next, Mary goes quickly to her cousin’s house for three months, Luke 1:39-41, 56,

“39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit,… 56 And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.”

Because of the power of the Holy Spirit Elizabeth recognizes who is in Mary’s womb.

After this Mary comes back to Nazareth where Joseph is, and he discovers that she is with child. “When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.” The passage does not indicate that she tried to hide this. It is more likely she told him that this child was from the Holy Spirit, because this is a woman of the highest possible character.

She must have been a brave woman, because this was a scary situation for her, but she accepts her role with humility and noble acceptance.

But look at this all from Joseph’s perspective: His betrothed wife, whom he has not yet consummated the marriage with, goes to her cousin’s house for three months and then comes back and is pregnant. How would you respond to this? It is very likely that Mary tried to tell Joseph what actually happened, but how would you respond to such a tale? With strong scepticism.

This would have been devastating for the young man. He would have felt emotions of anger, betrayal, sadness, frustration and more.

The realistic nature of the Bible kicks in again here. From Joseph’s perspective Mary had to be an adulterer. We know he was wrong, but he could not have known this yet. He wasn’t a fool, ancient people might not have had science, but they knew where babies came from. And Jewish law made no legal distinction between a betrothed wife and a wife. He has two options here: a quiet divorce, or a public divorce which has the dangerous possibility of seeing Mary stoned to death.  

We know from other parts of the Bible, and history that the Jewish people considered adultery during the betrothal period just as sinful as after the consummation. We see in Genesis 38 when Judah finds out his daughter-in-law that is promised to his son commits adultery, this is his response, Genesis 38:24, “24 About three months later Judah was told, “Tamar your daughter-in-law has been immoral. Moreover, she is pregnant by immorality.” And Judah said, “Bring her out, and let her be burned.” Judah changes his mind very quickly when he finds out that he is the one who is to blame. Judah also notes how unrighteously he acted in the whole situation.

The highest punishment for adultery was death. This was no different whether a person was betrothed or not. Deuteronomy 22:23-24,

“23 If there is a betrothed virgin, and a man meets her in the city and lies with her, 24 then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbor's wife. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.”

As we noted before, whether betrothed or consummated it was considered a marriage, with the same legal obligations.

In fact, in Joseph’s day many different Jewish groups said that divorce was mandatory in the case of adultery, so that the man or woman who had been sinned against would not be defiled by the adulterous person.

So how does Joseph, the just man, respond?

Well, Matthew tells us this is what Joseph did, “And her husband Joseph,…resolved to divorce her quietly.” Wait, what? Why did Joseph choose this course of action? Why did Joseph not organize to stone her, as the law prescribed this punishment?

Some people might say he did this because he was lovestruck, and did not want to hurt his beloved wife. Not all marriages in that day were arranged, some were chosen (for e.g. Ruth and Boaz). Maybe he really loved Mary?

Some might say, it is because the Romans did not allow stoning at this stage, so he was seeking to follow the law of Israel’s conquerors. But the Scripture answers itself, and gives us a different reason: It is because he was a good man. “…being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame…” Being a just man he decided to be merciful and protect Mary’s reputation.

We know Joseph doesn’t have the full details yet, but from his perspective Mary was guilty of adultery. He has two motivations here: He wants to uphold the law and maintain his righteousness, but he also wants to show mercy. Mercy was an important part of the law. The law was not automatic, there was a requirement to show consideration, compassion and mercy when appropriate.  

Joseph’s action was consistent with this principle in Zechariah 7:8-9, “8 And the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, saying, 9 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another,…” True justice requires kindness and mercy. Joseph shows he understands the law properly and has a compassionate heart.

God and Nathan extended this same mercy to David when he confessed to what he did to Uriah and Bathsheba. Jesus extended the same mercy to the woman caught in adultery, and the many prostitutes who started following him in his ministry. Constantly we will see in Matthew how Jesus kept running into religious leaders who did not understand this principle of mercy. Again and again, they accused Jesus of breaking the law, because he worked on the Sabbath or did some other thing which they believed ignored the “letter” of the law. But Jesus showed that considering mercy was as important as understanding the letter.

Joseph shows he understands mercy. We know that Jesus learnt this form heavenly father, but he would have seen it modelled in his stepfather as well.  

And this last observation is important to, Joseph gave himself time to consider what he would do, “…20 But as he considered these things,…” He did not rush into anything. Only fools rush in, they say. At the very least he decided to sleep on it. There is great advantage in taking time to consider our thoughts about any particular issue or action. Rushing in leads to serious error.

So, we can see that God chose well. The man who would help raise his son while on earth was a just man. In just a couple of short verses the Apostle highlights how noble Joseph was. And as we know God would solve all of Joseph’s problems for him now anyway, because Mary was innocent.

A Blessed Woman (vv.20-23) – Joseph did not have to worry because this is no ordinary child, and Mary was truly a woman of character. As Joseph was considering how he would go about divorcing Mary quietly, an angel turns up and lets him in on the truth of the situation,

“20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).”

As we all know Jesus is the Son of God, and this was a long-prophesied event. And Mary get’s the privilege to be a part of this monumental event.

The New Eve – There is a sense in which Mary is the new Eve, it was prophesied all the way back at the beginning, that a man born of the woman would crush the serpents head, “15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Built into the very beginning of the Bible is the promise that all the problems caused by the evil one will be solved.

Some people foolishly try to argue that Christianity has a problem with evil. “How can evil happen if there is a good God?”, they ask. But this questions shows a complete misunderstanding of the message of Christianity, because the whole point of Christianity is to correctly define and solve the problem of evil in this world.  

Without Christianity we, as a society, cannot correctly understand evil. Which is easy to prove. Just look at how insane morality has become in just a little time since our society chose to reject Jesus. Without Christianity our world calls evil good and good evil, very quickly.

The existence of evil is a foundational tenet of Christianity. Christianity has no problem of evil, it is the answer to evil. Jesus is that answer. As the famous Christmas carol says, “God rest ye merry, gentlemen, Let nothing you dismay, Remember, Christ, our Saviour, Was born on Christmas day, To save us all from Satan's power, When we were gone astray.”

Evil really proves Christianity is true, because only Christianity correctly identifies the evil we experience. And combats it. The incredible woman Mary is part of this plan to defeat evil.

The “he” to come - The fact that this promise was given to one of the daughters of Eve right at the beginning means that one of the questions all those who knew Genesis would ask at every birth of every boy is this: “Is this the he that is to come?” The Israelites were watching for the coming hero, the saviour, the one who would rescue Israel.

As Eve says in Genesis 4:1, “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” What is she noting? That she has bought forth a “he.” As we noted two weeks ago this is why all these genealogies exist in the Old Testament, they are tracing the lineage of the “he” to come. That is why they are a long list of “he’s”.

This means that in some sense, all the Jewish women who knew their bibles and had children believed that they were in some way fighting against the devil. Because one of them would eventually be the mother of the boy who would crush the serpents head. We see Anna in the temple waiting for this, Luke 2:38, “38 And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.” This puts the honour and power of motherhood in perspective, does it not?

Of course, a mother was also increasing the family name of her husband, adding to the wealth of her family with every child born, especially sons, and making her nation stronger. There were many practical and national reasons to honour motherhood. Other nations understood this as well. Only two kinds of people were allowed their names on gravestones in ancient Sparta: men who died in battle and women who died in childbirth.

But there was this spiritual reality as well: childbirth was a direct challenge to the evil one. Because he would be destroyed one day by the son of a woman. Having children was a defiance against the devil, whether the person knew it or not.  

This perspective on motherhood has been too some degree lost in our modern world. Most people love their mother and honour her. But motherhood is now seen as something extra to being a woman, unnecessary, even frowned upon.

Young Christian girls are not trained to be like the women of the Bible, they are generally not raised to be mothers. Bible colleges today seek to train women to be like the men of the Bible, not the women. They are trained and raised to avoid motherhood for as long as possible. They are trained to have careers where motherhood must be put on hold, they are encouraged to engage in things like sport and combat which might ruin their ability to be mothers.

I want you to think about this: every bible believing woman before Mary, had Eve as their role model of the highest purpose in life: to be the mother of the one who would defeat the devil. What did the women after Mary have too look to?

Elizabeth tells us, Luke 1:42, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” They had the role model of the blessed mother. They saw that when God wanted to save the world, he did it through a man, but a man who had a mother. They saw that motherhood was the highest calling among women, and the greatest woman in history was the one who got to hold Jesus in her womb.

Women after Eve could look forward to the possibility of being the mother of the one who would defeat the devil, women after Mary had the ability to emulate the greatest of women.

I am going to say something that sounds thoroughly un-Protestant now, but bear with me. We have lost something in de-emphasizing Mary as much as we do as Protestants. Don’t get me wrong, Catholics go too far in saying we should pray to a human woman, instead of Jesus. Catholics also go too far in teaching the immaculate conception (the idea that Mary was without original sin). But Protestants have overcorrected, and have deemphasized the role of Mary, and this, I believe, has led to flow on effects for how Christian women see themselves in the modern world.

Our culture understands that if you want to convince women you give them secular, feminist “heroes”, so it goes out of its way to show women in politics, media and sports, doing things that men do.

What the media or culture calls a strong woman today, is just a woman acting like a man. And they push this message hard, because they want women to work, pay taxes and delay or avoid having kids. Our world is ruled by people who believe the earth is over-populated remember…think about how this informs their messaging. 

But for most of Western history, the greatest role model women would have seen everywhere in Christendom was the most blessed of mothers. There is something in that. It can be taken too far. But we have overcorrected, and now the importance of family does not get the emphasis it once did, even in the Church. Though, I think there is a growing movement seeking to correct this.

That does not mean that there is no role for single men and women to build into the kingdom of God. They play a vital part, like Paul, but this message today is on the first family of Christianity. The primary way in which we all live is in families. 

The Importance of Family (vv.20-25) – The beginning of the Bible cements the importance of family, Genesis 1:27-28,

“27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

And the beginning of the New Testament does the same,

“22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.”

Just as the Bible begins with a family, so too does the New Testament begin with a family. Because family is central to God’s plan for humanity.  

But where Adam and Eve disobeyed the command of God, Joseph and Mary do the opposite, “24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.”

Joseph is not the new Adam, because Jesus is. But it hard not to contrast the obedient Joseph with the disobedient Adam. Joseph was commanded to marry Mary, and he did. Joseph was told what to call Jesus and he did. In English, Jesus’ name Yeshua means Joshua, which means “the Lord saves.” A great name for the Messiah.

It is impossible to examine this and not see that God is going out of his way to show how vital family is. God can create anything out of thin air, he could have simply created a body for Jesus and brought him to earth as the God man, floating from the clouds.

But instead he made him part of a simple family, his father was a carpenter, a tradesman, a builder, his mother a humble woman, not royalty. God could have placed Jesus in a royal home, or noble home, or a notable home of some kind, but instead he placed him in an ordinary family home, because the human society can live without human kings, but it cannot live without human families.

Jesus also knew what it was like to be a brother. Joseph knew not his wife, until after Jesus was born. This tells us he knew her afterwards, Matthew 12:46, “46 While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him.”

It would not have been an ordinary family if Jesus’ parents had not done what parents do. Jesus knew what it was like to have brothers and sisters and lift the ordinary human life that we live. And he did this for us. He did it perfectly, we don’t.

The Apostle Matthew has gone out of his way to show how human and realistic the situation was that Jesus was born into. Of course, his parents may have been average regarding their station in life, but morally speaking, they would have been a cut above most. Jesus’ earthly father was a just man, and his mother was a blessed woman.

We should not overlook the fact, that as part of God’s plan to save the world, he included a good father and a good mother.

Application – So what can we learn from the account of Jesus’ birth?

God values family incredible highly. I said a couple of weeks ago that the devil is against family, Christians never should be. I think we need to re-emphasize not just family, but the biblical model of family: father as provider and leader, mother as nurturer in the home.

Have you seen a Fast and the Furious movie, any of the recent ones? Have you noticed how much they go on about family. But it is not really a family, it is just a gang of thieves, criminals and street racers. The movies highlight honour among thieves, but not really family.  

Hollywood knows we cry out for family. It is the Church’s honour to have the chance to show the world how it is done.

Honour motherhood like the Bible does. I was watching an episode of Start Trek, and Captain Janeway, was telling another character that one of her ancestors was this famous astronaut and explorer, and that inspired her to become a Starfleet captain. Then Janeway found out, that her ancestor was none of those things, and turned out to be a simple family woman, who had a lot of kids and grandkids. Janeway was disappointed to find out her ancestor was so normal.

But Janeway is an astronaut and explorer and career woman, and she has no family or kids. If her grandmother had been what she is, she would probably never have been born.  

That is something to think about. You win the future by having kids, and raising them in the way of Jesus. And you work against the devil’s schemes.

Mercy. We also learn from Joseph that true justice requires mercy. This will be a big theme in the gospel of Matthew. The biggest motivation for being merciful is really simple, God has been far more merciful with us, then we will ever need to be with others.  

Salvation is only in Jesus. I will talk more about this next week, but we can’t skip over this, “21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Have you turned from your sins? Because that is the only way you can be saved. Jesus is the saviour of all who trust in him, but the condemner of those who do not. Only in him can you be saved.  

Conclusion – The world needs more men like Joseph and more women like Mary, humble, righteous and godly mothers and fathers. But even more than that, it needs Jesus. Because there are still many people who need to hear about the one who can save them from their sins. Let’s pray.

Saturday 18 November 2023

Do What You Are Told!


Image: Unsplash

Interest rate rises, like mask mandates, are ineffective, unnecessary (there are better solutions) and exist only to bully people into certain behaviours,

"(Punters) are dying and it's actually people like me who look at the data and other economists, it's killing us there was no reason for the Reserve Bank to put up interest rates in the last meeting.

"In fact, I looked at all the data presented in October, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released a whole lot of data, and none of the data said put rates up - it was one last chance to make sure they put a nail in the coffin, to make sure we behave over the next three to four months. For me, it looked like a behavioural sort of impost on us."[i]

Inflation was driven up by government spending and is being maintained by record high immigration and high fuel prices. None of us have the power to effect any of these policies, yet we are being told, through rate rises, to stay home and stop spending, as opposed to two years ago when it was stay home and shop online with free government money (a trap many people fell into and are now regretting).

Once you see how they seek to manipulate behaviour, you can't unsee it. It is good to spend less. There is wisdom to living below your means, and so people being encouraged to spend less is not inherently bad. But it is immoral for government bureaucracies (with a modicum of independent status) to rob people of their income to solve problems created by other government bureaucracies. It is even more immoral for governments and the RBA to pretend that it is Australian spending habits which are continuing to push inflation up. Per capita wealth is going down, the economy is only appearing to grow because so many people with money have been brought into the country since the borders were opened up. In reality job figures show unemployment is rising and Australians are becoming less secure in their workplaces.  

Australians are getting hit from every direction by dyscivilisational policies.

Of course, some people think this is evidence of stupidity, but it is also evidence of malicious intent. “You will own nothing and you will be happy.” This is the stated goal of some of the world elites, and there is nothing in these apparently contradictory policy decisions of those who govern our society to disprove that the trajectory to not being able to own a home, or much else in Australia, is not right on target. “…there was no reason for the Reserve Bank to put up interest rates in the last meeting” unless of course the reason is something other than sound economic management.

There is another way to look at this too: Indebted people are much more willing to do what their elites tell them, even sign up for wars they would otherwise want no part in… “Do what you are told! Or we will find ze ways to make you.” (Read that last line in a stereotypical bad guy voice from a 1960’s spy comedy). 

What is clear though is that the easy times are coming to an end. Buckle up, times are only going to get more interesting.   

List of References

Friday 17 November 2023

Israel Has Been Gathered?


Image: Unsplash

I am loath to keep writing about this, but there are many Christians who believe many myths about the nation of Israel, and I think it is important to challenge these errors. So I want to address one other myth: “That the Gathering of Israel Has Been Fulfilled.”

There are many Christians saying online: "Can the United Nations or any human force be strong enough to gather the Jewish nation? Surely only God can achieve such a thing!"

I would actually say amen to that. Only God is strong enough to gather the Hebrew branches of God's people back to the land of Canaan. And it is because of that fact that we can know that the modern nation of Israel is not a fulfilment of prophecy, but a work of the flesh with all the manifestations of the flesh (idolatry rampant, sexual immorality, tyranny [over their own people, remember the evil Covid mandates that Israel also did], persecution of God's people the Church and more, c.f. Gal. 5:19-21). We can also see in this world that many of the Jews have not been gathered, and that is saying nothing of the other 10 tribes Israel (remember Judah represents only the remnants of two or three tribes, not the full 12).

A lot of Christians are not aware that about half of the Jewish world population today lives outside of Israel.

"Although Jews exist in most every country in the world, the vast majority are concentrated in two countries: Israel and the United States. With more than 6.9 million Jewish citizens (2021 estimate), Israel is home to more Jews than any other country in the world. 74.2% of Israel’s population is Jewish. The historic homeland of the Jews, Israel is home to the holy city of Jerusalem, which is of great importance to those of the Jewish faith. The United States has the world's second-largest Jewish population, with around 6 million Jews. More Jews live in New York City than in any other city in the world. The New York Metropolitan area is home to 1,728,000 Jews, roughly 10% of its total population. The borough of Brooklyn alone has nearly 800,000 Jews, which accounts for more than a third of its population.

The next eight countries with the largest Jewish populations were estimated to have between 446,000 and 91,500 Jews in 2021. First comes France with 446,000, followed by Canada with 393,500, and the United Kingdom with 292,000. Argentina, Russia, Germany, Australia, and Brazil all have significant Jewish populations as well...

...As of 2021, it is estimated that there are about 6.9 million Jews living around the world. The majority of the population lives in either Israel or the United States."[i]

The city with the most Jewish people living in it in the world is New York, not Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv. There are nearly twice as many Jews in New York as there are people in Jerusalem, which has a mixed population.

In fact, many Orthodox Jews believe that they should not return to the land until their Messiah brings them home,[ii] though there are big differences of opinion in modern Judaism about the issue. However, many Jewish people know their own history, they know the damage that false Messiahs have done to their nation and they know to avoid anything that has a hint of that, like a man made, secular founding of a nation called Israel, that is thoroughly dependent on US military power (the horses of Egypt, so to speak) and not led by the true Messianic King. 

Indeed, we Christians know that the Messiah is Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and we know that he will return and restore ALL nations. When national Israel is agan grafted into the true Israel, the Church and is fully restored, it will not have corrupt political leaders as its heads of state, but the King of kings himself:

"24 My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes. 25 They shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children's children shall dwell there forever, and David my servant shall be their prince forever. 26 I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 27 My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 28 Then the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore" (Ezekiel 37:24-28).

This has not been fulfilled, the Jews have not been gathered, only about half of them have. And this is only a fraction of the full nation which includes 10 other tribes who are mixed among the peoples who have not been forgotten, Zechariah 10:6-12:

“I will strengthen the house of Judah,
    and I will save the house of Joseph.
I will bring them back because I have compassion on them,
    and they shall be as though I had not rejected them,
    for I am the Lord their God and I will answer them.
Then Ephraim shall become like a mighty warrior,
    and their hearts shall be glad as with wine.
Their children shall see it and be glad;
    their hearts shall rejoice in the Lord.

“I will whistle for them and gather them in,
    for I have redeemed them,
    and they shall be as many as they were before.
Though I scattered them among the nations,
    yet in far countries they shall remember me,
    and with their children they shall live and return.
10 I will bring them home from the land of Egypt,
    and gather them from Assyria,
and I will bring them to the land of Gilead and to Lebanon,
    till there is no room for them.
11 He shall pass through the sea of troubles
    and strike down the waves of the sea,
    and all the depths of the Nile shall be dried up.
The pride of Assyria shall be laid low,
    and the scepter of Egypt shall depart.
12 I will make them strong in the Lord,
    and they shall walk in his name,”
declares the Lord.

This prophecy indicates that God is going to regather not just Judah, but Judah and Joseph, which means the full 12 tribes of Israel. The lost tribes are not even being counted in the population figures above. But to God they are not forgotten, they will be regathered and they will confess that Jesus is Lord, for he is the Messiah.   

When God fulfills this prophecy, in the millennial reign, or new earth, then he will be seated on his throne and idolators will not be the leaders of the nation called Israel, nor any other nation on earth. Jesus Christ will have brought all thrones and powers into subjection to his heavenly father (c.f. 1 Cor. 15). The fact that the modern nation is led by those who deny Jesus is the Christ, shows us more than anything else this is not a work of God, but of the flesh. The fact that at least half of the Jewish people are still scattered around the world, shows that Deuteronomy 28 is still in full effect, and the true gathering has not yet begun.

I do not think we can consistently interpret every prophecy in the Bible literally, because prophecy is filled with symbolism and imagery and poetic language. But a close reading of what these prophecies say and what we can observe in our world today, shows the gathering has not yet happened. It will happen in the Lord's timing, and it will coincide with a great revival, as I covered in a previous piece.  

List of References